Kuala Lumpur: Last year’s AFC Futsal Club Championship finalists Sanaye Giti Pasand of Iran and Uzbekistan’s Ardus will be eye-to-eye again in this year’s edition after the finals’ official draw in the Malaysian capital on Friday.
Eight teams were drawn into two groups in the draw which was carried out by AFC Futsal Competitions Manager Mohamed Fairoze Muhiseen (pictured, left) assisted by 2006 AFC Futsal Player of the Year Kenichiro Kogure (right).
Defending champions Giti Pasand have been drawn into Group B whose other members are Chonburi Bluewave of Thailand, Qatari side Al Sadd and also Ardus whom the Iranian outfit beat 2-1 in the final last year in Kuwait City.
Giti Pasand and Ardus will be facing each other again early in the finals in Nagoya, Japan, on Match Day 3, on August 29.
This year’s edition hosting club, Nagoya Oceans, whom Giti Pasand defeated 6-3 in the semi-finals last year, were drawn into Group A along with Shenzen Nanling Tielang of China, Vietnam’s Thai Son Nam and Al Sadaka of Lebanon.
Chonburi Bluewave, Shenzen Nanling Tielang and Thai Son Nam advanced to this year’s finals after finishing in the top-three in their Zone 2 Qualifiers while Al Sadd and Al Sadaka clinched their finals tickets after finishing in the top-two positions in the Zone 1 qualifiers.
Hosts Nagoya Oceans and champions in the previous edition Giti Pasand had gained automatic positions in the finals while Ardus’ runners-up finish at Kuwait 2012 earned Uzbekistan an automatic entry to this year’s finals and it is the Tashkent club again that takes part in the competition.
The continent’s premier futsal club competition will be held from August 27 to September 1.
Nagoya Oceans (JPN)
Shenzen Nanling Tielang (CHN)
Thai Son Nam (VIE)
Al Sadaka (LIB)
Sanaye Giti Pasand (IRN)
Chonburi Bluewave (THA)
Al Sadd (QAT)
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